About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

IEET poll saying: "Legalise ecstasy!"

I see that the current (admittedly not very large or at all scientific) poll over on the IEET site has more than 80 per cent of respondents wanting to legalise the popular party drug, MDMA (ecstasy). I'll report the final outcome when the poll closes.

It's cheering to see that there's some good sense in at least one corner of the internet. Legal prohibitions on a drug such as ecstasy provide just one more dreary example of the state acting to pre-empt the choices of its citizens. Isn't it about time we began to stand up and Just Say No to this offensive kind of paternalism?


Blake Stacey said...

This reminds me of a Doonesbury strip from sometime back in the 1980s, where Uncle Duke is complaining that "kids" ruined MDMA. (Remember, this is the character, based loosely on Hunter S. Thompson, who once told a roomful of Young Republicans, "There is no room in the drug culture for amateurs!") Duke tells his companion Honey that MDMA had been showing great promise in psychiatric circles, but then the damn kids had to go turn it into a "party drug".

I suppose a similar thing happened on a larger scale (in terms of societal effects) with LSD in the 1960s, and again on a smaller scale with 2C-B in the early 1990s. Speaking purely as a lover of words, it's unfortunate that 2C-B was criminalized before it acquired a really cool street name. "Nexus" and "bees" just don't compare with ecstasy and acid. (I recall my mother's American College Dictionary rhapsodizing in its preface about acidhead and speculating jovially about the word's future.)

Blake Stacey said...

By the way, I've now technically started blogging, at Science After Sunclipse. Maybe this will be a more productive way to waste my time than editing Wikipedia. . . .